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The next generation of cloud storage

Cloud storage is being increasingly adopted in the enterprise as it enables all devices from the office and home to sync and protect data.

There have been many notable developments in cloud storage recently, with major corporations making big moves and more corporations demonstrating growing confidence in the cloud. eWEEK contributor Don Reisinger outlined some of the best cloud storage options available for enterprise users, exploring how the corporate view of the cloud has been evolving.

"Cloud storage is all the rage in the enterprise right now," Reisinger wrote. "Companies are finding that cloud storage services can be a convenient and relatively secure way for employees to access data files and documents when they are away from the office. That enables employees to go far beyond the simple offline storage solutions that so many companies are investing in to instead have a way to access and work on certain files with a select group of colleagues."

Reisinger went on to explain that not all cloud computing storage solutions are created equal, and there are some options that are better suited for the enterprise. For example, Dropbox may not have the ideal functionality for office users, even though it is particularly popular with consumers.

Investing in cloud storage
A recent CRN article cited MarketsandMarkets research that projects cloud storage will continue to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 40.2 percent through the end of 2018, slated to reach $46.8 billion. Independent Online contributor Ryan Peter also shared some insight on how the cloud can be beneficial for many different purposes. He noted that the cloud is more than a place to keep files online. People can use cloud storage apps to set up automatic backups of certain hard drive folders so that all important materials can be easily recovered without having to go through the hassles of daily manual backups to an external drive.

Cloud storage systems can be particularly beneficial for the new corporate environment brought on my remote capabilities and bring your own device (BYOD). Peter emphasized that account settings can be altered so that My Documents is automatically synced between multiple machines, like between an office desktop, home PC and laptop.

"The beauty of cloud storage is that you can also share certain folders on your cloud storage application with others, allowing for cloud storage to become a shared backup facility where files can be swapped," Peter wrote. "This works great in small business environments as there is no longer a need for a complicated network set up. Everyone has their own cloud storage account and within it shared folders where they collaborate. Collaboration takes place across devices as well – a PC, a Mac, a phone or an iPad."

BYOD pushes data into the cloud
Demand for cloud data storage is being largely driven by an influx of data and more employees bringing their mobile devices into corporate settings. Wired contributor Andrew Wild argued that the BYOD trend specifically is pushing organizations to implement cloud-based solutions to assist with managing all the data coming from mobile devices.

Wild stressed that in the future, there will likely not be any need to store corporate data on any device, and as more companies demonstrate confidence in the cloud's security, the compliance and related security risks associated with local data storage are seemingly rising.

"People love their mobile devices specifically because they provide Internet connection anytime, anywhere," Wild wrote. "So, having protections at the cloud level is the only way IT managers can make sure corporate information is not exposed, or shared without authorization. We just need to provide services in the cloud that are built specifically for the enterprise with appropriate security controls and which offer the flexibility for companies to maximize their productivity with BYOD."

Wild argued in favor of adopting a cloud-only model where data owners are charged with granting viewing rights to specific users. While he noted that using cloud enterprise storage to handle the BYOD trend is a promising solution, capabilities need to be developed and enhanced moving forward so that protection is shifted from the device to the actual data with an ideal cloud storage approach focusing on keeping information secured regardless of its location.